Who – and what – are your biggest competitors?

We recently started working with M.H. Eby, an aluminum trailer and truck body manufacturer with headquarters and one of its plants in Blue Ball, PA. Its big industries are horses and livestock. These guys really get it. They follow industry stats, they look closely at their competitors and they’re always assessing their products and manufacturing processes. When it comes to looking at competitors, they look at other aluminum trailer and truck body manufacturers AND alternative products: steel. Their marketing and sales communicate the key features and benefits of aluminum over steel, in an attempt to capture a share – even just a tiny share – of that huge industry.

You probably know “who” your competitors are. They’re the obvious ones. How well do you look at “what” other competitors are out there? In the case of our tourism and hospitality clients here in Lancaster, competitors aren’t just other hotels and attractions in the county. They’re places to visit other than Lancaster County. They’re staying for a weekend rather than a week. Even the weather forecast can be a competitor! In the marketing and business consulting industries, a key competitor is the business deciding to do parts of it themselves. Or not do it at all.

Bottom line: you must continually be presenting a key difference, a greater benefit and a solid value. And of course, you need to wrap it up with compelling creative, targeted marketing and sufficient repetition.